Unikraft: Fast, Specialized Unikernels the Easy Way

Unikernels are famous for providing excellent performance in terms of boot times, throughput and memory consumption, to name a few metrics. However, they are infamous for making it hard and extremely time consuming to extract such performance, and for needing significant engineering effort in order to port applications to them. We introduce Unikraft, a novel micro-library OS that (1) fully modularizes OS primitives so that it is easy to customize the unikernel and include only relevant components and (2) exposes a set of composable, performance-oriented APIs in order to make it easy for developers to obtain high performance. Our evaluation using off-the-shelf applications such as nginx, SQLite, and Redis shows that running them on Unikraft results in a 1.7x-2.7x performance improvement compared to Linux guests. In addition, Unikraft images for these apps are around 1MB, require less than 10MB of RAM to run, and boot in around 1ms on top of the VMM time (total boot time 3ms-40ms). Unikraft is a Linux Foundation open source project and can be found at www.unikraft.org.

15 Minutes
Felipe Huici

Felipe Huici, Chief Researcher at NEC Europe Laboratories GmbH

Felipe Huici is chief researcher in the systems group at NEC Laboratories Europe in Heidelberg, Germany. His main research and work interests lie in the areas of high-performance software systems, and in particular specialization, virtualization, and the application of machine learning techniques to tackle open problems in the systems area. Previously, he received an undergraduate degree with honours from the University of Virginia, a Masters in Data Communications, Networks and Distributed Systems from University College London (top of the class), and a Ph.D. also from UCL. He has published on several top-tier conferences and journals such as SOSP, SIGCOMM, NSDI, CoNEXT, and SIGCOMM CCR and regularly act as TPC member of conferences and journals such as IMC , INFOCOM, CoNEXT and SIGCOMM CCR.

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